Coloradans face an emerging public health threat from a family of chemicals found in toxic firefighting foam and other sources. Over the past few years, scientists and regulators have detected significant contamination from PFAS-based firefighting foams at several military bases, industrial areas and airports in the state. These include long-term exposure to nearly 70,000 people living in the Fountain Valley area south of Colorado Springs, whose exposure to a toxic chemical known as PFHxS is on average 14 times higher than the typical American.
The State of Colorado has developed a PFAS Fund that generates money for water testing, and a take-back and replacement program for PFAS-based fire fighting foams. The state agency has also begun to regulate PFAS discharges to wastewater via narrative standards and requires monitoring and source identification for large metropolitan wastewater treatment plants.
Advocacy efforts in Colorado are coordinated between national and state-level organizations, as well as representatives from highly impacted communities. In the 2022 legislative session, the groups are working to advance a policy that would ban PFAS in specific consumer products, as well as enact a framework for ending currently avoidable uses of the chemical by 2030.